King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles: February 21, 2023 Update

Construction continues on Roncesvalles and on The Queensway. Track work is complete at the intersection, but still in progress between Glendale and Parkside.

According to the latest email update from the city, Roncesvalles Avenue is expected to re-open by mid-March, and streetcar service should resume at the start of May.

After the track and road works on The Queensway are completed, the TTC overhead system must be installed. Streetcar service west of Sunnyside Loop would resume in “the summer”, but with no specific date.

Conversion of overhead on King west from Bathurst to Roncesvalles for pantograph operation is in progress. Segments are in various stages all the way from complete to not yet started with about 50% completion overall. 504 King streetcar service now ends at Bathurst, although many cars turn back at Spadina. 504C King bus service runs between downtown and Dundas West Station via Parkside until Roncesvalles re-opens in March.

The photos below show:

  • Stop construction southbound on Roncesvalles at The Queesway
  • Sunnyside Loop, now the temporary western terminus of 501 Queen service. The intersection at The Queensway and Sunnyside will be signalled, but this is not yet activated.
  • The Queensway at Glendale (St. Joseph’s Hospital)

12 thoughts on “King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles: February 21, 2023 Update

  1. When is 503 streetcar to be resumed?
    Also when will Victoria street tracks be fixed and ready for use… couple of steel plates cover two parts of the tracks?

    Many thx, Paul

    Steve: The work on Wellington is supposed to be finished this summer, but I think we will not see streetcars there until about September.

    Victoria Street I don’t know. There is a question of how the intersection at Queen will be affected by Ontario Line construction. Victoria Street from Queen to Dundas Square shows no planned work for 2023 or 2024 in TOInview.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Don’t see a stop line before the streetcar track going into the Sunnyside Loop. Low priority for streetcars. They’ll have to wait for the automobiles to give permission for the streetcar to enter the loop, or likely not.

    At least, the streetcar will be able to get priority exiting the loop back onto The Queensway. In theory. More likely having to wait a couple of minutes to get the timing cued right with the other traffic signals on The Queensway.


  3. Though I think Victoria will be partly obstructed north of Queen with the OL work, Victoria Street cannot be used by streetcars between Queen and Dundas at present because the tracks are cut in two places close to Shuter – there are metal plates over ???. ToInView shows Enbridge and Hydro work on these blocks in 2023 anyway. Of course, it COULD get new tracks in 2024 but ….


  4. Nextbus (“Umo”) has now been changed to have 504 routed on Roncesvalles. Which of course throws off predictions eastbound.

    Steve: This was noted in the service changes for Feb 12. The scheduled version of the route, including its GTFS description that Nextbus/Umo uses (as do other apps) is on Roncesvalles. It will start to work when the buses move to their proper route in mid-March (date TBA).

    Anecdotally, today (Wednesday) at 8:40 a.m. my eastbound 504 filled up and started passing up people by Sudbury Street.

    Steve: I am not surprised given loads I have encountered in my travels lately.


  5. I see bike lanes have been omitted in this new construction. They begin and end at exactly the new construction. The only way now would be to paint bike symbols in one of the traffic lanes. Is pushing cyclists into traffic a new strategy?

    Steve: While I sympathize, this aspect of the design has been known for several years going back to original planning. It was bad then and it’s still bad now.


  6. When construction and overhead wire work on Roncesvalles is complete, streetcars on the “504 King” route are expected to return to Dundas West subway station and the western portion of this route.

    However, streetcars aren’t on the western portion of the “501 Queen” route, running between the Roncesvalles loop and the Long Branch loop; it is still being operated with the “501 Queen” shuttle buses between Dufferin Street in the east (which they are running in tandem with streetcars) and the Long Branch loop in the west.

    Steve: This is not news. Buses will return to Ronces sometime in March, whereas the streetcars not until May.


  7. Steve opined: While I sympathize, this aspect of the design has been known for several years going back to original planning. It was bad then and it’s still bad now.”

    It’s Bad! That the long Queensway bike lanes in/out from Etobicoke still have a near-entrapment potentially life-changing shituation from this extensive work, (if not a bit worse in spots) and near-zero interest from the City/TTC to really improve bike safety, not always bike lanes fwiw. This Fail also includes, or should have, Parkdalians wishing to bike to High Park. Maybe it was somewhat deliberate to keep High Park as a middle/upper class park?

    The desultory Fail of the City can also be seen with the inaction to adjust Parkside Ave, quickly, with a bi-directional bike path on west side of road from Bloor south – a measure which would be quick and simpler and cheap but it would cost the city some parking revenue and might save lives while slowing votorists, though sure, not everyone wants to bike and the cars are nicer on rougher days like today.

    Or, since this is a transit blog, would it be possible to start some express buses at least going south using this curb lane, just to keep private cars in one lane and thus reducing the speeding through basic congestion.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. All these service cuts do treat transit users like third class citizens on top of that it does nothing to curb gridlock which is choking our economy and our city it’s despicable and is going to make getting around the city tougher.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Quote from Hamish: “would it be possible to start some express buses at least going south using this curb lane, just to keep private cars in one lane and thus reducing the speeding through basic congestion”

    I’m sometimes struck by the unhelpfulness of the rhetoric I read online, and at times I wonder if the person has the self-awareness to see the harm their chosen approach causes.

    My view: the city should be working to improve the actual effectiveness of ALL road uses. Cyclist, transit, motorist, pedestrian….
    And we should judge things based on their effectiveness.
    Eg. What’s the use in bike lines if they’re blocked or don’t have snow removed? If we’re going to have bike lanes, they should be properly maintained.
    Eg. 2. If building a streetcar ROW on Spadina, why have farside stops? While I understand why there are farside stops (to permit left turn lane to exist), it’s also obvious that having far side stops on Spadina erodes the potential benefit the transit user could get from a ROW (Who wants to not only crawl up and down the street, but at times wait 2-3 traffic cycles for the streetcar to cross college just so you can finally exit off the streetcar?)

    When I talk about unhelpful rhetoric, I’m talking about suggestions like Hamish’s to reduce Parkside to one lane with the express intention of “reducing the speeding through basic congestion”. How obscene. I can only imagine being someone who lives in one of those houses who is condemned to torturously slow traffic conditions on leaving or arriving home because someone had the idea the INTENTIONALLY make the driving experience worse. (If this couldn’t be considered “War on Cars”, I don’t know what would qualify)

    In my opinion, there’s plenty of low hanging fruit to improve the experience for everyone. One thought: pedestrian scrambles at busy intersections; remove the conflict between pedestrians crossing and vehicles simultaneously trying to turn.

    I’d like Hamish – and others who share his view – to try to imagine being a driver attempting to make a left turn (as the pedestrian countdown comes down 4…3…2…) and then witness a pedestrian running down the sidewalk to successfully enter the crosswalk right as the timer hits “1” or “0”; and afterwards proceed to lazily saunter across the intersection while checking their phone.

    If 2 or 3 cars COULD have successfully made a left turn in that time (had the pedestrian declined to enter the intersection when they had no chance of clearing it without inconveniencing others), that would obviously be better for traffic flow of all kinds.

    But instead only one car can make a left and the remaining cars are left to wait for their next chance.

    Is it not obvious that this backs up traffic? Backs up streetcars? Is it not obvious that such appallingly slow conditions will CREATE the aggressive, impatient driver?

    Do you think creating more obstacles will create a kinder, slower, gentler driver?

    What happens with speed bumps? Or the photo radar speed cameras? Drivers slow down over the bump (or going past the camera), and then speed up again as they clear the obstacle. These things don’t work to change driver behaviour.

    What does work is good street design. Drive on Queens Quay between Bathurst and Spadina going 40 and it feels like you’re going 100 because of how narrow the road way is. The design slows you down.

    Consider Bayview Avenue and the attempts by Vision Zero to arbitrarily slap a lower speed limit. The speed limit had to be raised up again because the design of road FEELS faster than 50. Having an artificially low speed limit made collisions more likely to occur. You can’t just slap a lower speed limit and think your job is done. That is lazy, simplistic, and ultimately ineffective.

    Anyways, I’m all for proposals that make everything better. And I understand there will be winners and losers. We have limited road space, and there’s nothing we can do about that.

    But my main purpose in writing this comment is to point out that “war on car” style comments, ones whose aim seems DELIBERATELY to antagonize the experience of other taxpayers because those “motorist taxpayers” aren’t part of the cyclist tribe, only reinforces the suspicions drivers have about the intentions behind policies that get proposed. It’s not collaborative at all. It’s plainly anti-car.

    And in addition, further frustrating drivers will not create a more calm and compassionate driver. It just means more frustration, and ultimately will mean more antagonism going both ways.

    Steve: And on top of all of that, once the 504C King service leaves Parkside Drive, there will be very few buses on the remaining 80 Queensway service, certainly not enough to justify a reserved lane.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “Drive on Queens Quay between Bathurst and Spadina going 40 and it feels like you’re going 100 because of how narrow the road way is. The design slows you down.”

    Whenever I drive home on Eastern Ave – speed limit is 50 – I’m always amazed at how people hesitate to even go 40. The street FEELS like you should only be doing 40. It’s one of the only places in the entire city where the speed of traffic is almost exclusively *lower* than the speed limit.

    I really enjoyed that comment. Transit solutions of all kinds need to be carrots, not sticks. If we really want to incentivize people to take transit instead of driving, we need to make transit good – not make driving bad!

    As a completely random anecdote, my wife and I went to the ROM today to check out the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit (which was, as always, stunning). From the beaches, the 501 would have taken forever, but we still wanted to take transit…so we drove to Woodbine station (“first mile”), took line 2 to St George, and then walked 2 minutes to the entrance (“last mile”). Three different kinds of transit struck the best balance of cost, time, sustainability, etc…but only because we’re lucky enough to afford a car, have a destination within walking distance of the subway, etc. EVERYTHING needs to get better, and it’s possible to do, with good management and smart decision making.

    Unfortunately…that’s pretty lacking these days.


  11. Roncesvalles update: Roadway concrete work seems complete, and they laid down under-asphalt on Thursday. Unless they find something else that’s gone wrong, the roadway might reopen next week. They’ve also started working on the platforms up Roncey, by which I mean they tore up both Marion platforms, parked a backhoe on the northbound one, and that’s as far as they got before snow and weekend.


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